Soft Skin

Put me back a few thousand years in the past and I would not last a single night. I’d call the cause of death hypothermia. To some of us, myself included, even starting a fire with the strike of a match seems rather primitive, let alone with a few pieces of wood. Nonetheless our task was as simple as emulating a youtube video in an attempt to create Prometheus’s gift to mankind. However, copying a three-minute Youtube video of some southerner making fire from wood, as we soon (if an hour and a half counts as that) found out, was as painful as it was difficult. A few hundred, maybe a thousand semi-rotations of a wooden stick on a wooden plank after beginning with high hopes and aspirations, our goals went up in smoke, literally. Too bad smoke was the best thing we achieved. If blackened, very warm wood was the goal, mission accomplished. Unfortunately ancient society would not have survived living by warm wood. The good thing? Failure was an option! Thank God this class does not give grades for the quality of the end product, or else my GPA would land me nothing but a home in the streets, and my inability to produce a flame would leave me a very short life.

I still don’t quite understand what we did wrong in our quest to produce fire. Perhaps our equipment was not up for the task, or we didn’t have enough time. But most likely, it is because our skin is too soft; we aren’t tough enough for the wild. As Ms. Dodd walked around offering band-aids for our blistered hands we realized how delicate our skin is, not attuned for life in the rough. Hopefully the following weeks will toughen us up some more so we don’t fell like we wouldn’t last a minute without technology.

-Jeffery Zhang

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